1Sambayan hits Duterte ‘kowtowing’ to China on CPC’s 100th anniversary

Published July 8, 2021, 11:20 AM

by Raymund Antonio

“Lacking, insulting, and derogatory.”

These were the words used by opposition coalition 1Sambayan on Thursday, July 8, in describing the speech by President Duterte during the summit marking the centenary anniversary of China’s ruling party, the Communist Party of China (CPC).

1Sambayan (Photo courtesy of Neri Colmenares)

Duterte, who spoke not only as President but as chairman of his national political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), was one of the world leaders who attended and gave a speech at the virtual gathering for the Communist Party of China and World Political Parties Summit on Tuesday, July 6.

“We have again witnessed President Duterte kowtowing to his masters in China,” 1Sambayan said in a statement.

“Duterte spoke the words ‘trust’ and what is ‘good and just’ in his tribute to the CPC for steering the world superpower into the global stage. We, however, found his statements lacking, insulting and derogatory to every self-respecting Filipino,” it added.

In his speech, the Chief Executive praised China for “realizing its dream of progress and prosperity for its people.”

Duterte also said Beijing will play an important role in global affairs for decades to come.

Despite the maritime issues between the Philippines and China, Duterte said the country counts on China “as a friend and partner for peace and development.”

READ: ‘Sleeping dragon no more’: Duterte trusts China to defend what is good, just for all

According to the opposition coalition, this speech came less than a week before the fifth anniversary of the landmark ruling from The Hague that invalidates the basis of China’s nine-dash line claim in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea.

The group criticized the President for making “no mention of China’s encroachment into Philippine territory, violating our sovereignty and denying our people beneficial use of our territorial and maritime resources.”

“Duterte can pay homage to the CPC, but as head of state he should have also taken the opportunity to communicate our opposition to China’s encroachment in WPS. He is not only speaking as the titular head of PDP-Laban when he spoke at CPC’s anniversary, but as the leader of a country whose sovereign rights has been violated,” 1Sambayan said.

The arbitral ruling was handed down on July 12, 2016, less than two weeks after Duterte came to power. The opposition coalition described it as “a clear victory” by the Philippines.

“But the gain has been wasted because of this administration’s refusal to assert our country’s sovereignty amid China’s trespasses,” it added.

The maritime issues with China have been a thorn on the Chief Executive’s side as he continues to befriend the Asian economic powerhouse and called the ruling a “piece of paper” that one can throw in the trash bin.

READ: Arbitral ruling on West PH Sea just a scrap of paper, Duterte says

1Sambayan reiterates that it hopes to elect leaders who have the country’s best interest at heart.

“We in 1SAMBAYAN hope for leaders who will fight for our nation’s interest and maritime rights, who will honor the sacrifices of our great heroes and preserve our hard-earned sovereignty.”

China claims the entire West Philippine Sea, with Filipino fishermen prohibited from traditional fishing grounds in the Spratly Islands. This despite international condemnation of the sweeping and increasingly assertive way that Beijing has been staking its claims in the region.